23 April, 2008

2007 Dayuling Wulong

I don't drink much green wulong, but when I do it's either tieguanyin from my wife's hometown in Mainland China, or Taiwanese leaves from Teamasters. This ruanzhi [soft-branch] rolled tea is from the same Dayuling region as my favourite old 2004 leaf, the last of which we toasted Nada with on his departure several weeks ago. [Dayu is an ancient mythological? emperor, Ling refers to the ridge that takes his name.]

The rolled balls (in all their ballesque glory, below) are dark and dense, which I take to be a good sign. The aroma is superbly buttery.

An extraordinarily clear soup shines a brilliant yellow-green (below), the kind of colour tea that moved Lin Yutang to write so often in The Importance of Living and My Country and My People (both essential reading).

The aroma builds to a sustained crescendo in the wenxiangbei; I sniff large nosefuls as if sipping from the brew.

The soup itself has a penetrating sensation in the mouth, that tingles the lips and tongue, which I usually take as evidence of healthy leaves and good growing conditions. Though not attaining the unscalable heights of my beloved 2004 Dayuling, this is accomplished tea: the roast is light and almond-like, skilfully blended with the buttery characteristics of the leaf.

Beautiful triple-leaf stems (shown above) testify to careful picking and handling. I enjoyed this tea very much indeed - thanks muchly to SE for a sincere treat.


David Lesseps, LAc said...

What a wonderful book you show in the cup photo. I just ordered a copy for our house -- I think it will be a great follow-up to the conversation you and my wife had regarding American etiquette.

Hobbes said...

G'day, Dave,

Bear in mind that the book is aimed totally at UK audiences! Some of it might read a bit strangely in other countries. We have quirks and oddnesses aplenty contained in these isles... :)



P.s. Unless you're planning to get a butler. In which case, it's right on the money. ;)

Yuffee said...

I also like oolong tea very much,expecially the heavy fragrance of sweet flavour.In my opinion,Oolong tea is a woman who has the baptism of time ,becoming graceful and charming. She is always nit-picking ,unless the hot water of 100 centigrade degrees as the warm love can inspire the passion ,fragrance and sweet in her life.

Matt said...

Your reviews over the last few weeks have been exquisite and insightful. I've notice much mention of late how the size of the leaf influences the tea. Couldn't agree more, as biochemically the leaf exhibits different properties as it grows.

The way you relate personally to the tea shows in your posts.

The new blog roll feature you added is wonderful. One can't help but check out who just posted!

Thanks as always on the lessons in life and tea,


謏 約翰 said...

Enjoyed your post, as I sit in Chang Ping drining Taiwan high mountain Oolong. regards john

Anonymous said...

Just curious as which roasting this Da yu ling is, the fruity or the lighter roasted type that teamaster has?

Stephane said...

Your welcome Hobbes. I'm glad you like it.

Since it doesn't mention 'fruity', this Da Yu Ling should be the lightly oxidized one. (It's a difference of oxidation with the 'fruity' one, which is slightly more oxidized). It's the 2004 Da Yu Ling that Hobbes refers to, that was lightly roasted. Since you continue to lavish so much praise, I will probably ask to have a batch roasted this spring...

nada said...

Over the breakfast table this morning, as I read your mention of The Importance of Living, I asked my well-versed flatmate if he'd read this book. He replied that he hadn't, but returned from his room moments later and presented me with a copy that had been given to him.

I very much look forward to reading it.


Hobbes said...

Dear Yuffee,

I am absolutely going to quote you on that to my wife. :)

Dear Matt,

I really appreciate the kind words, thank you, and am very glad that you're enjoying reading.

Dear John,

Envy is a sin, this much I am taught, but I find myself face-to-face with it when imagining you reading tea blogs from some delightful teaspot in Taiwan. Have a cup for me!

Dear Anonymous,

"Lightly oxidised" must be right, it was buttery and fine.

Dear Stephane,

Ah, that 2004 Dayuling. One of life's fleeting pleasures.

Dear Nada,

You have a treat in store, good sir. I just gave our copy to a friend who called by for dinner, who is of a like spirit to you. I am fairly confident that you'll both find lots in it. Written in 1936, it could have been created for today's audiences. It's absolutely dense with pithy wisdom and charm. Almost every line is quotable.

Now that I've talked it up so much, I shall feel rather a ninny if you turn out to be unimpressed. :)

I am also fully impressed that your flatmate has a collection of books so large that he hasn't read some of them!

Toodlepip all,


nada said...

Dear Hobbes,

If the first few pages are anything to go by, I doubt very much that you will need to feel anything other than comfortable at having made this recommendation.

This book was left behind with my flatmate by a friend of his who moved back home after living in China. Despite being recommended to him by his friend, somehow it managed to lay untouched until I brought up the breakfast table conversation.

I'm relishing each page.


nada said...

update -

as I sat in a cafe, writing the last comment, someone stole my bag, containing this very book, along with a bing of quality Gu Shu cha, my camera and some other personal bits and pieces.

It looks like I'm going to have to wait a while longer to relish these pages of wisdom.

Lets hope the sneaky thief has enough culture to be able to appreciate this classic work, while relishing the enduring hui gan with each sip of pu.

Hobbes said...

Dear Nada,

E-mail imminent; I'm so terribly sorry to hear about what's happened.



nada said...

It's just one of those things that happen. Luckily I had travel insurance, and there was nothing that was irreplaceable.

The upside is that it spurred me into hunting down another copy of The Importance of Living yesterday. While chatting to the shop manager she recommended also reading My Country and my People. At less than £1 for a copy I decided to give it a shot. Looking back at your post I see that you also recommended this one too. I look forward to it.


Hobbes said...

I'm fairly sure there's a section in there about thievery, too...

You've got mail, by the way. :)